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Finding a cheap new SUV can be challenging. Inflation and the harsh economic climate are making vehicles more expensive than ever before. One new Hyundai SUV has a starting price under $20,000. How did Hyundai make such an affordable model, and why is it important to produce an SUV at that price point?

Why is the 2023 Hyundai Venue so affordable?

A red 2023 Hyundai Venue is stopped at an intersection.
The 2023 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

The Hyundai Venue is currently the most affordable SUV in the automotive industry. Its price may be shocking, but the Venue is roughly within the same price range as other subcompact SUVs. Still, the 2023 Hyundai Venue remains extraordinarily affordable.

The subcompact SUV’s base model SE configuration starts at $19,650. The SEL costs $21,400. Hyundai’s final configuration, the Limited, starts at $22,900. The Venue Limited is the most affordable fully-loaded SUV.

Hyundai’s subcompact SUV is so affordable because of its size and standard equipment. The base model is as barebones as possible, prioritizing simplicity and affordability over standard features. The automaker gives drivers the choice to upgrade tech and add creature comforts via upper trim level models. The Limited is the best choice for drivers that value modern safety and driver assistance features in a daily driver.

The Venue sticks to the basics and nails the fundamentals in its segment. It isn’t quick or flashy, but it makes an excellent sedan alternative and daily driver for the budget-conscious. Hyundai’s subcompact SUV may not be everyone’s dream vehicle, but it’s a solid choice for a first new vehicle. It plays a vital role on the far left of the pricing spectrum as vehicles become increasingly difficult for American drivers to afford.

Which 2023 Hyundai Venue trim is the best buy?

The Hyundai Venue only has one available powertrain option. According to Hyundai, all Venue models use a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine to make 121 horsepower and 113 lb-ft of torque. The SUV achieves 29 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

Since the tiny SUV only has one engine, the biggest difference between trim levels is the features that come standard on different configurations. The affordable SE is expectedly barebones. Hyundai’s Venue SEL configuration adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a sunroof, and blind-spot collision warning.

The 2023 Hyundai Venue Limited is the best deal for the money by a long shot because its standard features make up for many of the subcompact SUV’s shortcomings. It comes with heated front seats, wireless device charging, and navigation. The Limited trim also features heated exterior mirrors, proximity key entry with push-button start, and cloth/leatherette combination seats. Its value proposition is superior among Venue trims.

Should you get a Hyundai Venue?

A red 2023 Hyundai Venue subcompact SUV is parked.
The 2023 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai

The Hyundai Venue is ideal for quick drives around town and short daily commutes. Its impressive fuel economy and affordability make it a top choice for consumers looking for a subcompact SUV option that won’t break the bank. That being said, it’s far from the best in its segment. In fact, it isn’t even necessarily the best budget option in its segment.

The Venue’s South Korean older cousin, the Kia Soul, is considered the best budget subcompact SUV. The Soul’s quirky design and low starting price ($19,890) have helped the iconic tiny SUV gain a huge following. The Hyundai Venue is a Soul-inspired SUV with a slightly more conventional exterior design. So, the main reason to get the Hyundai Venue is to save a few bucks, which is reason enough for thousands of American drivers.